Michigan Lakes Dealing With Swimmers Itch This Summer, is Your Favorite Lake on The List?
Summer in Michigan is the best. Our state is blessed with the amazing Great Lakes plus all of the inland lakes located all over Michigan. For most of us, summers always meant time on the water, swimming, boating, and water skiing. Thanks to ducks and geese, and the parasites they leave in the water, your vacation could be spent scratching. This is something that Lake Lansing has had to deal with in the past.
Summers for me growing up was spending time at my second home, our cottage at Higgins Lake. The lake is the most beautiful in Michigan, and yes I am a bit prejudiced. With Higgins Lake, it is a situation where it is good with the bad. The good being a beautiful sandy lake bottom, shallow waters perfect for wading, clear blue water perfect for scuba diving, and amazing sandbars for hanging out. The bad, being swimmers itch.
The parasite that causes swimmers to itch is found in Higgins Lake and other lakes around Michigan. Never really bothered me but it sure bothers others like my daughter and husband. The parasites hang out in the shallow waters at the lakeshore and on the sandbars.
Swimmers itch looks a bit like the measles, but it is nasty and worse. Toweling off immediately after getting out of the water helps, in most cases. Higgins Lake is not the only lake in Michigan that has had to deal with swimmers itch.
Other states like Minnesota and Wisconsin also deal with swimmers itch. In the past, Michigan lakes like Torch Lake, Cadillac Lake, Lake Mitchell, Walloon Lake, Glen Lake, and Lake Leelanau all had swimmer's itch issues. Once the warm weather hits lake lovers hold their breath in hopes that they won't have to deal with the itch this summer. (Fingers Crossed)
To avoid getting swimmers to itch there are some precautions you can take. As I mentioned earlier, toweling off after getting out of the water is KEY. There are creams you can use before entering the water, I have found these work great. Some scientists have said that you should watch the water temperatures, the warmer the water temperature the more likely to have swimmers itch.
You can always contact the DNR to see if any lakes you frequent have reported cases of swimmers itch.
If you want to make it easier on yourself, just head off to one of our Great Lakes for a day at the beach.